Happy Birthday MLK!

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. He would have been 87. He was an activist, humanitarian and a leader in the Civil Rights movement. He was a part of history. A brilliant but flawed man that believed in equal rights in a non-violent way.

I saw Selma last month and I am encouraging each of you to see and support this wonderful film. From the opening to the closing of this film, you will be moved. It is a film that speaks relevance to things that are occurring today in this world.

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A Great Man

Our life’s journey is about the people that touch us – Stuart Scott

I’m not a sports fan. I don’t get into sports. But I’ve always been around sports. My brother is a sports fan. My ex is a sports fan and apparently every man I know likes sports. So, I know some things about sports (although reluctantly). I know what ESPN is. I know who Stuart Scott was and I am saddened by his death.

Stuart Scott died earlier this week on January 4th when he lost his battle to cancer. He was 49. He was an incredible sports anchor, a father, a son and a brother. Many other roles would describe this man. Too many to name, but know that he was a cool dude by many standards.

I  remember the first time I heard him say his signature “Boo- Yah” and almost died. I never knew people talked like that on television. I was witnessing a trailblazer. He was that man who had “swag” whether it be from anchoring at the desk or in his interviews. He was a rarity.

So, when I decided I wanted to write this piece to honor a great man it came as a surprise to me to learn so many things about Stuart Scott. ESPN did a great job. Thanks to the internet you can see old interviews, research his history and review photos of Stuart’s life. He loved ESPN and ESPN undoubtedly loved him which is what I read in an article written by Steve Wulf that..

“He was a trailblazer,” says ESPN anchor Stan Verrett, “not only because he was black — obviously black — but because of his style, his demeanor, his presentation. He did not shy away from the fact that he was a black man, and that allowed the rest of us who came along to just be ourselves.”

“Yes, he brought hip-hop into the conversation,” says Harris, “but I would go further than that. He brought in the barber shop, the church, R&B, soul music. Soul, period.”

Amazing huh? How many journalists can you name that are as smooth as he and can weave hip-hop and barbershop into an interview?  This man was brilliant. A man whose legacy will forever live on. He is worthy to be remembered, studied and included in our history books because he changed the game. Not just in sports, but in journalism as well.

His ESPY speech brought tears to my eyes. Stuart Scott reminded us that…

“When you die it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live. So live.”

That message is for everyone and not just those with cancer. Understanding that your life has purpose. Regardless of the time you may spend on this earth. Know that like Scott says “how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live” are important.

RIP Stuart Scott.

To check out his ESPY speech watch the video below:

Your Word is Your Bond

“Your reputation and integrity are everything. Follow through on what you say you’re going to do. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions.”

— Maria Razumich-Zec

 

Simply put…If you don’t have your word, then what the heck do you have? That’s what I told a friend of mine the other day. I am a woman of my word. My word defines who I am and my character. If there is anything you would ever want to know, just ask. I’m honest. I’m grown and I’m authentic. I would rather be known for my  ability to tell the truth than to be a known liar.

In navigating my friendships and relationships with people, I realized that the only thing that I can do is be honorable. Keep my word because it matters. Not one of my friends can ever say that I’m not reliable, disingenuous or flaky. If I don’t want to do something…I just won’t do it. I don’t let people bully me into doing something I don’t want to do and I don’t feel guilty if I can’t make everything. No matter how hard I try, I learned that I will miss some things and that’s okay.

So, what does it look like to me when you keep your word? That you’re a person that I can trust. That you care about me and my feelings. That you are special enough where I can let this guard down around my heart and try to get to know you. Why? Because you can keep your word. Your word is your bond. The bond that strengthens our friendship.

It’s not hard. There’s no magical formula to keeping your word. There will always be situations where that can’t be possible. It’s okay. Let the other person know what’s going on as soon as you can. Many communication problems can be resolved when people actually take the time and communicate with one another. Honoring your word will always get you the two most important things from me: trust and respect.

Trust

I don’t trust people easily. Never have. Probably never will. But, I can learn to trust people. God has blessed me with so many phenomenal men and women in my life that I can’t imagine how I ever survived not knowing them. We take time out to call, text, eat, visit and catch up with each other. I value that quality time and I trust them to always be there for me should I ever need them and I promise to do the same. We trust each other and that trust is solidified each time we act upon something that we said that we would do. Whether it be call back, get together or write a letter of recommendation for graduate school, we trust that what we say we are going to do will be done.

Respect

I respect people who keep their word and vice versa. My friends respect that I will do everything that I said I will do. So does my family. That respect is an integral part of my character and integrity. I don’t tell you that I’m going to do something and then not do it. I will follow through. Things that irk me and help me lose respect for people: people that say that they are going to call and don’t; people that say that they are going to do something and don’t and people who say that they will be there and don’t. You see how a little “slip of your mind” can cause me to lose respect for you? Just be about your word. Technological advances allow for people to send a text and say “Got busy, can’t make it. Call you later okay?” See, now how hard is that? Remember to be respectful to people and their time. Time is something that we can’t get back if it is wasted.

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Remember, to keep your word once it is given. Honor your friendships and relationships with people. Be authentic. If you can’t do something, it’s okay to send a text or call to say that you can’t make it. If you get distracted or busy, call the person immediately and explain your oversight. If you forget and need to cancel on someone, be honest and let them know. It takes a minute to gain someone’s trust, but an eternity to earn it back after you lose it.

Trust me on this one.